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Generic/Store Brand Feminine Hygiene

Image of a generic brand maxi pad

I think a lot of people tend to overlook savings when it comes to buying maxi pads and tampons. There are definitely a lot of “green” alternatives now that women are slowly exploring. Sponges, cups, cloth and essentially, anything reusable. I don’t doubt the savings of using reusable products at all, they are definitely a money-saver. However, I would dare say the majority of women are still using (and opting for) the conventional disposal products.

On that note, almost all my girls use a typical brand name product. They avoid no name or store brand feminine hygiene products like the plague. My ex has tried them before and she had a hell of a time with them. She says they have a very rough cover, however, I wonder if that’s really just an opinion based on prejudice about non-brand name products. For instance, the EQUATE brand of maxi pads I have experimented with have a very similar top-cover as Always. Given that she was an avid Always user, for her to complain about the Equate maxi pads seemed contradictory. I definitely won’t swear upon it being the exact same, but definitely very similar.

I can understand that generic pads because of the way they are made with minimal “current” technology, that they are generally the old-fashion pads simply with layers of cotton or absorbent material stuffed in between the layers and results in them being very thick. Bulkiness is probably one of the greatest reason why girls consider tampon over pads. Perhaps the usage of night time usage of thick or generic maxi pads wouldn’t hurt since you can sacrifice that comfort level as you’re probably ZzZz’ing anyways. Mind you, if I were a girl, I’d trust using generic stuff in the day where I know I can change it if need be, versus at night when there’s a lot of movement, shifting and leak-potential given the lack of “technology” put into generic brands.

Image of generic brand tampons

One of my girl-friends live by no name products, she doesn’t even care for buying brand-names. Perhaps her flow being only light-medium intensity, she doesn’t require all the fancy technology invested by brand name companies. I went over to her house the other day and gave her some tampons and noticed on her shelf the pads she used. Interestingly enough, after knowing her for so many years and having been open about it, we’ve never actually discussed the brand she uses. I was quite surprized that she used a generic store brand maxi pad and they were actually thin too…! I swear all of the ones I’ve ever seen were always ass thick that you’d wonder what kind of bulge it gives off on a girl (or guy I suppose)! After dropping off a couple of tampons for her, we had to boot out of her house because I promised to take her shopping so I didn’t have time to investigate 😛

In general, prices of generic/non-brand name pads and tampons definitely are cheaper than their branded counterparts. Nevertheless, it is not always the case that generic items can’t accomplish the same role. After all, menstrual protection is all about keeping your panties clean and of course providing a degree of comfort. I think it is fair to say that everyone should give it a shot and find ways of fitting these products to your menstrual routines. Sure, you might not want to use them everyday or all day, but saving a few dollars here and there helps. Reading from opinions on the internet as well, seems like many women are pretty happy with their choices of generic tampons, one of the best quotes I’ve seen describing them was:

I mean, it’s a wad of cotton with a string — there’s really not much difference between the brand name and the generic except the brand name costs twice as much, IMO.  –MainelyFoolish

Which is quite true in that perspective. I’m not going to say that there’s NO worth to branded products, I’m just saying that some considerations can definitely be made on how they can take advantage of using different products for different needs.

Now what post of mine would be complete without a horror story? Yes, I have seen generic maxi pads come apart before, it is not a beautiful scene (unless that’s what you’re into). Apparently those pads have a really bad seal, so it is possible for the material/cotton inside to “move around” as it becomes saturated. If the girl’s lucky, she’ll change her pad before it reaches that point… if not, it might result in some nasty leaks, worse than properly-made brand names pads. Since tampons and pantiliners aren’t “sealed” the same way, obviously you don’t run into those  problems. Also, some top-covers tend to rip because they don’t hold together as well, especially when there’s a degree of saturation, it becomes flimsy and “falls apart”… and yes, it really does do that.

The only gripe I’ve had over generic pads is that their wings tend not to be large enough. I remember during experimentation with one of the huge EXACT (Loblaws-chain store brand), the pad was massive, yet they had these tiny little tabs which were supposed to act as wings. I think given the size and material, there was no absorbing value of the tab and at most, it would hold the pad in place. From what I found, it DOESN’T hold the pad in place since it is too small, not sticky enough and with sufficient leg movement (as simple as walking) it’ll simply undo itself and the pad begins to shift around.

I think other than fear of leaks and insufficient protection, the next thing that’s really stopping girls from trying/using these products is the prejudice of it before they even TRY. Trying is really the only way to ever know if things work out. Sure, there might be a pair of panties you need to use cold water on, but maybe generic brands will also be the one that performs just as well than branded at half the price! Now, given that I’m always a deal hunter, I can find branded-pads/tampons as cheap as generic ones, but for those who don’t bargain hunt or can’t wait, these no-name products might be a good alternative and/or supplement to your regular supply!

For those who want to participate, what’s your experiences like with no-name or store brand feminine hygiene products?

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